Feb 5

Money-Saving Tip – Auto Insurance

Everyone loves to save as much money as one can. We have plenty of ideas on saving money and this is the first in a series of tips.  So this first tip, takes you out to your car(s).  Yep, we are talking Auto Insurance.  Where in many states it is a requirement to have upon when you register or renew the registration of your vehicle(s).

Independent Insurance Agent

Why is an independent insurance agent such a great money-saver? Independent Insurance Agents are not limited to a single provider’s options.  They typically represent a number of insurance companies, or “carriers”, and sell the products that most appropriately meet the needs of their clients. … Their expertise allows them to advise their clients about appropriate amounts of insurance and insurance coverages for their particular needs.

And you can feel confident knowing your independent agent doesn’t have a dog in the hunt when it comes to which provider or policy you choose. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

Loyalties Aren’t Necessarily Better

One thing is sure, that being loyal to a single company isn’t always beneficial to the consumer.  Companies see this loyalty and utilize it to their advantage, by slowly changing either rates or the amount of coverage to provide.  This could end up as either you, the consumer, paying the same dollar amount but now for less coverage, or for the same coverage, paying a higher amount per month.

This could definitely could cost them your business.

One big mistake from a consumer viewpoint is that once your policy is coming up for renewal, 31% (according to the Insurance Information Institute) consumers do not policy shop for better rates.  They just allow their policy to automatically renew with the debit card on file and keep things going.  By doing this, the missing out of new discounts and/or receiving better coverage for their needs is definitely happening.

How to Choose a Insurance Agent

1. Licensing

Not every insurance agent is licensed to operate in each state. As a general rule, you should buy from an agent licensed in your state, because then can you rely on your state insurance department to help if there’s a problem. To find out which insurance agents are licensed in your state, contact the state insurance department.

2. Price

Many companies sell insurance policies and prices vary greatly from one to another, so it really pays to shop around. Get at least three price quotes from agents and from the Internet.

3. Financial Solidity

You buy insurance to protect you financially and provide peace of mind. Select an agent that offers insurance coverage from companies that are likely to be financially sound for many years, by using ratings from independent rating agencies.

4. Service

Your insurance agent and his/her employees should answer your questions and handle your claims fairly, efficiently and quickly. You may also want to check a national claims database to see what complaint information it has on a agent. Also, your state insurance department will be able to tell you if the insurance agent you are considering doing business with had many consumer complaints about its service relative to the number of policies it sold.

5. Comfort

You should feel comfortable with your insurance purchase, whether you buy it from a local agent, or over the Internet. Make sure that the agent or company will be easy to reach if you have a question or need to file a claim.